Last year I chose to have my eyelids lifted by Dr. Buonassisi at 8 West Clinic in Vancouver (recently voted best in Vancouver for cosmetic surgery and treatments). I am still delighted with the results. I look much better, and it is so natural looking. I was delighted to collaborate with 8 West clinic on some videos, IG posting, and cross-posting, and a couple of blog posts. You can read about the whole experience here and here.
I did honest unfiltered photos of the whole recovery. 8 West offered me the opportunity to do another collaboration. I jumped at the opportunity. A Blepharoplasty or eyelid lift can only be achieved by removing tissue. This is considered an invasive procedure with scalpels and needles etc. I decided that I would like to do something non-invasive such as laser skin resurfacing. They recommended the Halo Hybrid Fractional laser skin resurfacing. I was very excited to do this, and we agreed to do some more videos, posting on IG and a blog post. I am delighted to share this experience with you! Bring on the honest, no filter photos!
All images are unretouched and taken in the best available light.
The best thing about 8 West Clinic is the staff!!
The best thing about 8 West Clinic is the staff. They are delightful. My comfort is the number one priority. As Dr. Buonassisi demonstrated, he and his staff are experts and are invested in giving their clientele the best results. We began with an analysis of my skin using a high-tech camera that photographs the skin under three different lights. One shows dehydration, the next redness, the last shows sun damage. That allowed the technician to develop a skincare plan to improve these areas and decide how she will approach the lasering my skin for the best results.
Preparing for laser skin resurfacing…
The halo laser system is a dual laser system. One laser evaporates the epidermis. It doesn’t completely remove the epidermis (the layer of dead skin cells on the very surface of the skin) as the downtime would be too long. It removes about 30% of the epidermis. Complete ablation is recommended with something like a facelift where one expects to be home recovering for some time. The second laser drills microscopic holes into the dermis (the living skin cells) to promote healing and the generation of collagen to plump the skin. It also targes the more pigmented cells to create a more even skin tone. The detailed, scientifically correct information is available on the 8 West Clinic website HERE.
Preparation is simple. No scrubs or acid treatments for one week prior to the laser skin resurfacing procedure. Arrive with clean skin. Easa, Mistress of the Laser, applies a powerful numbing cream and then you sit for 40 minutes.
Once the skin is completely numb, Easa sets up the laser, customizing the depth and amount of energy it will apply. She does the face in sections.
Does laser skin resurfacing hurt?
The question I am asked most is, “Does it hurt?” Yes, it does. Let’s give that some perspective. Earlier this year I had a disagreement with my French press coffee maker. I ended up with a first-degree burn in a band around my right wrist. There was no blistering but that band of skin was very red and hurt a lot for two full days. Later it peeled. At no time did the laser skin resurfacing hurt as much as that burn. It was close when we did my neck but that was only for a short moment and did not last.
Easa works very quickly constantly moving the laser and cooling over the skin. It does not take very long. She then cleans the skin and applies a soothing moisturizer from Skinceuticals. The aftercare is important and I was sent home with a care package of cleanser, anti-oxidant serum, masque, cellular repair moisturizer, Avene spray, and my favorite the Fusion Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50.
There is puffiness, redness and heat for a couple of hours after the procedure.
I did experience some anxiety. I am not comfortable with people using instruments near my face. The dentist is the worst for me. With this procedure, I was fine once it started. The device blows cold air onto your skin while there is the sensation of being snapped by little elastic bands. The sensation of heat does increase but is quite bearable.
My face, neck, and chest were warm and red and felt a little tight, but there was no pain. I applied cold compresses over the next 90 minutes and then sprayed with Avene mineral water every hour or so. By bedtime, there was very little heat.
The next few days were easy. The dead cells come to the surface and are sloughed off. There is quite a bit of redness, but a touch of Jane Iredale base powder over the tinted sunscreen takes care of that.
The flakey skin disappears 5 or 6 days after the procedure. The redness takes longer and the skin can appear quite pink for several weeks. The face gets through the initial process more quickly than the neck or chest. D
During the neck and chest, Easa did some BBL laser which is targeted for those brown, sun-damaged areas because I have a lot of sun damage on my chest. You know how it goes. You start the day all covered up with sunscreen on your face, and as the day heats up you strip off exposing unprotected skin on your chest. She also went back over a couple of stubborn spots on my face.
We made huge progress with my sun damage, which has delighted me. The sun damage on my face was largely from one SPF failure during a vacation in Hawaii. My face burned, but both my boys burned all over even though they were buttered up like greased pigs. I was very upset because this sunscreen claimed to offer more protection than the one they preferred to use. We have never used that product again but the damage was done.
I have noticed some subtle reduction in marionette lines and pores. The fancy camera photos showed measurable improvement too. The texture of my skin is gorgeous – so fine and smooth. I love it.
The cost for this treatment – face, neck, and chest is about $2000 CND. Pricey, maybe but when I think about all the tubes and bottles of creams, lotions, serums and scrubs that I have bought hoping for a significant improvement in whatever that container claims to improve only to see no change and compare that to significant improvement in a week the cost is worth it. The improvements continue for some months after the treatment as healing continues. Included in this cost is the expertise of the staff regarding ongoing skincare with products that are medical grade and which are backed by clinical trials. These are no more expensive than the products at the beauty counters but are not stuffed with perfumes and ingredients to make them feel nice. They contain ingredients that work.
Would I do more laser? I think so. There is more discoloration from many years of sun damage that can be improved upon on my chest. On my face, I would like to see how it turns out in the long term. I want to keep an eye on any brown spots. Improvements can be maintained by daily use of sunscreens so I’ll be slapping that on every morning as a part of my daily routine.
I hope, in sharing this, I have helped you to be more informed about this laser skin resurfacing experience. Be sure to find a provider who is happy to answer all your question and recommend a course of action designed just for you.
Thank you 8 West Clinic for an amazing experience and collaboration.
Thank you for joining me on this adventure.